There are a lot of everyday conversations topics like health conditions, pets, children, pregnancy, work, marriage, or even death, and each and every one of them are an opportunity to win! You can have the best marriage, or the worst child. The best career or the worst health, whatever the situation, you must be the most and these tips will get you there. When people pay attention to you, they are showing you that you are valuable and give you a reason to exist. If anyone else is getting attention that means you aren’t therefore you aren’t valuable so whatever you do make sure that the focus on you at all times. It will make your life worth living.
Sympathy/fact gathering mission
No matter what second approach you take, this is a great lead in. During this stage just nod and acknowledge a lot while saying “Wow, that’s great/so hard,” before launching into your attack.
Zig when they zag. Remember that attention is what counts and it doesn’t matter if it’s positive or negative, it’s all good.
Examples: “That’s great about your promotion. I lost my job at the bank and would you believe that later that same bank foreclosed on us.”
Obscurity is your friend
Rare medical conditions, government restrictions, career specific details or science facts. These are tools to instantly confuse your opponent and trump any argument they have. The few seconds of pleasure when they have no reply will be worth the fifty to a hundred hours of research you did.
“So sorry to hear about your cold but atleast that new blue dress is pretty. I can’t wear navy blue because I have prisma-sensitivity. If I wear that color, I get a loud, high pitched ringing noise in my right ear and my mouth tastes like pennys.”
High low, hit both ends of the extreme at once. A common story shared (doesn’t matter wheither it is true or not. Honesty matters little in life) is that Einstein didn’t speak until he was four and we all know that he later became famous as one of the world’s great quote generator and scientist guy. Can you imagine how much his mother milked that story? This approach is a great way to go in a large conversation where the group is split between great and horror stories. The wide swing of your story can shut them both down.
Example: “Your new puppy is so cute. We got a rescue dog that had bitten 5 people. After months of extensive trainer he was recently awarded the governor medal of honor for rescuing a school bus full of drowning children. They are considering retiring the award in his honor.”
Winners never lose but sometimes you have to lose the battle to win the war. If the conversation starts to turn against you, it might be time to voluntarily forfeit the game rather than being exposed. Raise your hands and apologize but it doesn’t need to be legitimate. You can accuse the other person of being too sensitive. Often a statement like “I thought we were just having a conversation” can deflect the blame back onto them. If all else fails you can accuse them of being shallow because “kids are dying” and they’re complaining about first-world problems. Your moral superiority will keep you warm at night.
Some people might tell you that someone’s mother passing from cancer or their child being diagnosed with leukemia is a bad time to compete with someone, but I say that you can’t win if you don’t play. This is a high stakes move but the validation you get when you can pull the conversation and sympathy to you is worth it.
Leading with false sympathy allows you to pivot quickly without them expecting it. Be ready to employ the voluntary forfeit at any point. A forfeit is especially effective since people’s grief will later make them question if they were in the wrong. Sometimes they will even come back to you to apologize for being insensitive, the ultimate win.
Example: “I am so sorry to hear about your father’s cancer. I can relate because my husband had cancer and he passed away the night before our baby was born.”
I hope these techniques lead to life long happiness of always being the center of attention.